Science and Music Inspire Brazilian-born Artist
Rosane Volchan O'Conor is the featured artist at the Jewish Community Center's Deutser Art Gallery, 5601 S. Braeswood.
Artist Rosane Volchan O'Conor finds inspiration for her work in several places — science, her upbringing in Brazil and music.
"It's like a language. I have my own language you can translate on my work," O'Conor said. "All those strands there, I ink them one by one and with printmaking and monoprint, it's almost like I'm writing.
"I'm using my strings to write my own language, and it's very satisfying to create my own vocabulary."
Some of O'Conor's pieces will be on display through March 31 at the Deutser Art Gallery at the Jewish Community Center, 5601 S. Braeswood.
O'Conor, 48, said her work has been exhibited in galleries ranging from New York to Rio de Janeiro. She has been involved in art for as long as she can remember.
Born and raised in Brazil, O'Conor was first exposed to art at an early age during Saturday classes at her school. She said the classroom emphasis was less on the final product and more on the process of creating artwork.
"That was a very special experience," O'Conor said. "In my school, they had Vanguard teachers that were doing things with the kids that were very free. They had several stations where they could work with puppet-making, poetry and printmaking."
Much of O'Conor's work resembles cells with organelles, a specialized subunit within a cell that has a specific function.
O'Conor attributes the scientific influence to her sister, a biologist.
Each of O'Conor's paintings and sculptures are said to have several levels of visual stimulation, which is why Anne Lewis, one of her friends, said she was first drawn to her work.
"To me, when I look at it, it just has layers and layers of interest," Lewis said. "I don't get tired of it. I could just keep looking at it and I see something else and something else."
O'Conor left Brazil in 1984 to study at the Royal Music Conservatory Brussels in Belgium, where she met her husband, Peter O'Conor, a native New Yorker who works in the oil industry.
The couple stayed in Brussels for several years before moving to Texas in 1989. They first settled in The Woodlands but now reside in Southampton.
They have three children: Tania, 20, who is studying literature at Columbia University; Erika, 18, Tufts University student; and Lucas, 15, a Bellaire High School freshman.
Rosane O'Conor said she hopes the public education system eventually gets enough funding to teach the arts to students in a way that is similar to what she experienced in Brazil.
"I wish more would be done, especially in terms of letting kids play," O'Conor said. "I was so lucky to have this kind of starting point and I was quite surprised when I got to the point that my kids were going to elementary school and I didn't see this happening."